By Brian Butler
Authors often ask each other what time of day they find the most productive to write. The answers always vary from early morning hours to after I’ve had at least three stiff drinks, following Hemingway’s logic—write drunk, edit sober.
I’ve never asked that question because to me, it is a personal preference. It has nothing to do with the time of day but everything to do with your state of mind.
For example, I am more productive in the mid-morning hours. I find it easier to write before becoming completely active and awake, helping me concentrate my focus on the topic at hand. Being a night owl at heart, I’m not very lively in the morning. After I do wake, I just do not feel much like conversing with anyone and would rather write. All the jumbled thoughts from the day before have settled into place and I am more at peace, until I’m interrupted. Sometimes I go for hours before that happens and sometimes it’s only a matter of minutes. If it’s the latter, I then struggle through the rest of the day trying to squeeze in time to get my thoughts down before they’re tossed into the air and jumbled once again. Many times this circus runs well into the evening, at which point I am much more awake and therefore, less focused and less productive. When I get too far along into the day, I find other obligations that begin to fight for time and brain space in an already clouded head, thereby leaving less grey matter for creativity.
But that’s me.
The idea that there is a more perfect time for you to write than any another really cannot be decided by anyone but you. It depends on the type of person you are. Pay attention to the points of the day (or night) when you feel everything falling into place, when your head is free of its obligations and able to drift. With any luck, this will coincide with a time when you can focus those thoughts onto nothing but your story… and that will be your perfect time to write.